Here we evaluate the clinical value of Full-Field OCT imaging in the management of patients with Head and Neck
cancers by making a reliable histological diagnosis on FFOCT images produced during preoperative procedure. FFOCT
performs a true "virtual extemporaneous exam" that we want to compare to the gold standard (extemporaneous and
conventional histology with H and E staining). This new optical technology could be useful when diagnosing a lesion,
cancerous or precancerous, or at the time of its surgical management.
Full-Field Optical Coherence Tomography virtually slices the tissue using white light interferometry to produce in-depth
2D images with an isotropic resolution around 1 micrometer. With such a high resolution FFOCT systems produce
”optical biopsy” images that are similar to that obtained with classical histology procedures, but without any staining and
in only a few minutes.
We imaged freshly excised samples from patients, of mouth, tongue, epiglottis and larynx tissues, both healthy and
cancerous. FFOCT images were acquired and later compared with histology of the same samples. Common features
were identified and characteristics of each tissue type were matched in order to form an image atlas for pathologist
training. We were able to identify indicators of tumors such as heterogeneities in cell distribution, surrounding stroma,
In conclusion, FFOCT is a fast, non-invasive, non-destructive imaging tool that can be inserted into the pathology lab
workflow and can provide a quick assessment of microscopic tissue architecture and content. Furthermore we are
developing a similar system with a rigid endoscopic probe in order to do in vivo and in situ high-resolution imaging. Our
probe could thus guide the surgeon in real time before and during excision and ensure a more precise gesture.